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Minister of Transport admits to Canada Post delivery problems

Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt admitted to problems with Canada Post delivery on Monday, saying the Crown corporation’s denials don’t reflect the reality of many Canadian households that have experienced inconsistent service.

“My sons play hockey so I’m in the hockey rinks on the weekend,” said Raitt, whose duties include overseeing the arms-length carrier. “That is the one issue that people come up to me and talk about. It’s, ‘Hey, I haven’t received my mail in a long time, what’s going on?’ ”

“Yeah there are delays,” Raitt said. “They (Canada Post) can say what they want to. I know what my community is saying. I know what my constituents are saying.”

CityNews first brought the issue to light after receiving a viewer email about a Malvern neighbourhood that had gone weeks without mail.

The floodgates opened after that story aired, with hundreds of phone calls and emails pouring into the newsroom from residents across Canada, claiming they’ve also been victims of shoddy service.

The union representing letter carriers blamed the poor service on staffing issues, but Canada Post denied that and said the union was exaggerating.

“For the union to suggest that’s there’s extended delays beyond one or two days, is just not true,” Canada Post’s Jon Hamilton told CityNews late last month.

Since CityNews first began covering the delivery issues, it appears that Canada Post has taken some measures to rectify the situation. The Malvern neighbourhood that sparked the news investigation now says it’s been getting its mail every single day.

And one Canada Post employee, who previously told CityNews that carriers were being forced to work overtime under the threat of suspension, now says more temporary workers have been brought in to deal with backlogs.

CUPW-Toronto Local’s John Slattery called those efforts a ‘band-aid’ solution. “Of course they don’t want to hire anyone that’s permanent help,” he said.

Raitt stresses that Canada Post is an arm-length corporation and wouldn’t commit to intervention.

“It becomes my concern as Minister when they stop adhering to and abiding by the postal charter that we put in place in 2009 in terms of how many days for service delivery,” she said. “That’s when I get involved as a Minister.

According to the postal charter, Canada Post must delivery mail within 2-4 business days.

With files from Amanda Ferguson